EDF tariffs - Heures creuse V Bleu/rouge etc ?

23 Replies


Hi there, am hoping to find others of you that have struggled with ever increasing EDF bills...have tried filling in there online questions re saving on elec but I need a comparison really before doing anything drastic with our tariff.

We are currently on heures creuse (23:30 to 6:30ish) we have - I think - a 45kw output due to our house being over 250 sq meters. Back up elec rad's but 16kw wood burner - elec oven (gas hob) wash machine, dishwasher etc.. Our current monthly bills average out at approx 220euro per month..... We have low watt bulbs for basic lighting and are gradually changing downlighters to 7watts instead of the 50watt halogens (not that they are on all day tho) and gas top kettle etc.. TV's and computers on standby/ sleep as husband worries about them being turned off nightly.

Was thinking about lowering the 45kw and perhaps changing to red and blue days (I know this means we can't do dish washer and wash machine at same time etc... and careful when heating is on and pain in the preverbial if you have two red days in winter at -2 degrees) so before taking the plunge I would really welcome some genuine helpful advice and to hear of others experience with these tariffs.

Thanks in advance all !

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confused-392192 1331124397

I've actually just changed from a normal tariff to heures creuses and having checked my bill I'm on a 6KW output. I have elec oven, dishwasher, washing machine, chauffe eau, fridge, freezer etc. Wood burning central heating and elec. radiators but don't use them, computer on all day etc. I don't leave things on standby though and the water heater is only on for 2 hours a night which is sufficient for our use. On 6KW I haven't experienced any problems with the electric.

I went on to the heures creuses because I found my 120 euros a month electricity bills hard to handle, I haven't had a new bill yet, but I can see that I'm using more electricity at the more expensive rate and also calculating the units I've used I'm on course to have used 1,600 units less than last year, which leads me to believe I've had a faulty meter in the past.

Maybe you could reduce your output - that seems a massive amount to me unless I'm misunderstanding.

confused-392192 1331124499

Sorry made a mistake, am using more electricity at the cheaper rate, so am expecting bills to reduce.

quercus56 1331125451

Actually you're right it is a massive amount that amout of 220 was including a rental cottage so OUR bill was actually around 160 per month which I still find too high. Thanks for your input 'confused'

Colly1 1331126213

Hi, I think the main problem is the 45kw supply, I have similar circumstances to you except our heating is all electric and manage fine on a 9 kw supply, my average looks as if it's going to be about 110 euros a month.
If you reduced from 45kw to 9kw that would probably save around 50 euros a month.

AOC-413942 1331126295

Couple of points;

You have a 45Amp supply - 9Kw. The Tempo tariff (red days and blue days) is no longer available to new contracts, so it isn't an option. The day/night tariff (heures creuses) is only of financial benefit if at least 50% of your consumption is at the night rate (typically 10;30 - 6:30 - and before someone, yet again, pipes up with "mine is only on tuesdays that are in September", yes, the times vary). EDF may push you to HC, but do the maths. Few (apart from EDF) benefit.

160€/month is about average for a large house. OTHERS' EXPERIENCES MAY VARY!

AOC-413942 1331126384

BTW, a 45KW supply is not available in a domestic installation.

kerguen 1331126415

Hi ,
We're on the tempo system. We are retired so at home all day, and while it takes a bit of organising, we certainly save on our bills. We have a 9Kw supply, which is ample for our large longere. The wood burner heats the main room and upstairs, which we supplement by also using in the kitchen & office electronic petrole stoves which are great. We too have electric background heaters, but they are hardly used in winter. Basically on red days we do not use the washing machine or tumble dryer, the dishwasher or electric oven/kettle, and turn the water heater off on red and white nights.
Our water stays hot for 3 days so we would normally put it on the 3rd night, but if on the 3rd red day we hear it is going to be a blue or white day the next day, we leave the water heating off until the lower tariff cuts in the next morning (A white day is still a lot less than a red night). If a red day again - the water goes on the 3rd night, then off again for the the 4th/5th. On red days we cook on gas (I do use the micro occasionally for short busts) and heat the kettle on the gas or on the woodburner, & I wash up by hand. The washing, ironing & dishwashing is done at weekends or in the week on days when it is a lower tarif, and any baking or using of the oven etc
We use a portable computer in the living room on red days, and watch TV or whatever just as normal. We did get special switches to cut power to standby switches but now things are so low energy it isn't worth it. Also with a humex box you would lose the recording of TV programmes.
We are paying about 120E a month which is less than a friend pays on heures creuse & living in a 'dolls house'
Personally if you can be flexible I would recommend it. This year it has been such a long cold spell we have had I think, 3 weeks of 5 days in a row, (you can look up past years and get to know by looking up meteo what is likely to come (If Paris is cold then it will be red!) so have had to heat water up on red - remembering to turn it off is probably the hardest thing about tempo, but we see it as a challenge and a way of energy saving and certainly adds interest to the winter! Hopefully next year the red days will be more scattered!

Georgieboy-441037 1331126634

I think you are referring to the "Tempo" tarriff. Throughout the year there are 22 red days, 41 white days and the rest are blue. Each of these goes over to a cheaper rate at night (heures creuses) so, in actual fact there are 6 rate bands. We were on this tariff when we lived in the south west of France but we had oil heating so didn't use electricity for heat. For us, it worked out much cheaper (even though the monthly standing charge is higher) but I was very strict with myself regarding use of dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer. Never used them on the red days and even tried not to use the oven.

If you go onto the EDF website you can get the prices per kilowat for each of the different tariffs and do a rough calculation to see if it would be advantageous to swop to Tempo. I did note that you have a 45kw supply - this seems very high, ours is only 9kw and our house is 175 sq m

JohnP-390097 1331126780

Surely you mean 45amp(9Kw) not 45Kw If you have heures creuses, invest in a couple of timer switches and fit them to your dishwasher,tumble dryer and washing machine so that they only operate on cheap rate. Change all your lights to low energy, it makes a considerable difference especially through the winter when it is dark and we tend to have lights on most days. If you have your woodburner alight, keep your doors open upstairs and turn down your electric radiators. As far as the electric kettle goes, just boil what you need, not a full kettle for a cup of tea. Electric kettles are high users but only for a short period, it takes a set amount of energy to boil a set amount of water so using an ordinary kettle uses less power for longer = same cost. Finally turn TV's, PC's, sat boxes etc OFF at night, there is no gain in leaving them on stand-by, just a waste of energy.

Hope that helps

kerguen 1331128579

Like John P your posting got there quicker than mine. I was not planning on changing - bad news for original poster tho'.

Georgieboy-441037 1331128764

Just checked the EDF website - Tempo is still available

janes-394036 1331131391


I am interested that you say the HC/HP tariff is only worthwhile if at least 50% of your KWH are on the Creuses tariff. I did the maths and it came out as being worth it once around 25% of your KWH are on Creuses. Can you explain to me where I've gone wrong.

Lerome-405515 1331136075

I agree with janes. AOC's comments baffle me too. I keep a highly detailed analysis of my EDF factures on a big spreadheet. Unless The abonnements and other taxes are substantially different on the basic tariff, I can't see why the Creuse usage needs to be more than about 25%.

Our average monthly bill (fully inclusive) is about 85 Euro, and we have a gite in use during a few weeks of the summer. Our total monthly consumption varies from 400 to 600 KWh per month, with about 20 to 30% being Creuse.

We try to be as frugal as possible with our consumption.

I just submitted a meter reading for the latest period and, on looking at the BleuCiel web site, notice that the Creuse rate/KWh has risen by about 32% and Pleine by 20%.

The "Other charges" constitute between 30% and 45% of the total before TVA. There are so many variables that it seems like 'confusion pricing' is alive and well in France!

AOC-413942 1331138153

@janes If you have done the maths, then you must be right (in your case). I can't explain where you have gone wrong (if you have), because I don't have any figures (for you)! My experience suggests otherwise.

nimportequoi 1331142436

The tempo tarif is available, but you often have to fight with EDF to get it. I know people who have gone onto it recently, but it wasn't easy.

Blyton Boy 1331145729

Your supply, 3,6,9 or 12kW has nothing to do with the size of your house at all.

It is what you request to cover your supply needs so if you have, lets say, a 9kW/45A supply and have only a small electrical need then you are paying over the odds for your monthly standing charge so you need to reduce it although the saving won't be enormous.

As the other posters have said, Tempo is now no longer available, just HC/HP

nimportequoi 1331152401

Tempo IS available!!

polly.carbonate 1331154631

I agree with AOC. You need to use quite a bit more electricity at night to make it worthwhile being on the day / night tariff. The standing charge goes up and the electricity cost of the day units goes up as well. We have a 250 sq metre property with oil heating and a woodburner but water heating, oven, washing machine, dishwasher computers, tv's, fridge, 2 freezers all obviously run on electricity along with over 300 bulbs some low energy but too many halogan I'm affraid to say. The point of this posting is to say that it is not worthwhile us being on the night / day tariff in the summer let alone the winter when we are using more electricity for cooking (use BBQ in summer most nights) and lighting. An AAA rated diswasher uses about 1KW per cycle so if it's on at night rather than during the day you will save a whopping 3 cents everytime it goes on and at 3 times a week you'll save all of about 5 euros per year. Don't take EDF's word for it, work it out for yourself.

JohnP-390097 1331191893

That is interesting, I have dual rate and although I realised my standing charge was higher, I didn't know my standard rate was higher too. I get 3 hours HC in the afternoon and 5 hrs during the night. I inherited this system from the previous owner.
I live on my own and I pay 38€ a month for electricity. I think that is as low as I am going to get it so not worth tinkering in my case.

kerguen 1331201158

Just checked with my better half - I made a mistake on original post - we pay 120E for 2months on average ( ie 60E month ) on tempo - if you can still get it as some posters say, being careful you can save a lot.

DOUCEMENT 1331427565

Strangely enough I have just written a reply to a similar posting and, quite frankly, thank goodness I saw it first because, if I hadn't I think I would have broke down in tears and gone to bed and had nightmares.

Yes I know everyone of the replies were well meaning, helpful, informative and I have no reason to doubt correct but, Whow! so much information. My mind went into spaghetti junction mode.

I was so relieved when I got to the posting by John P. He somewhat mirrored my own circumstances and attitude, I may add. Like him, I inherited the system I now have. A low kw rating and, I later learned, a "white" meter situation.

From what I have read tonight, regarding colour coding, if I had been given this information in the first instance I would probably have made a decision to my detriment, money wise.

The only change to my life is my dishwasher, the one I have is one of the modern electric machines, if it is not connected it won't work. So, I am now on the lookout for a machine I can pre-set.

sabc15-427548 1331461922

Hi.just read the postings with interest,we have a 1958 3 bedroom house,reasonably insulated,9kw supply,washing machine,tv's,sky boxes.2 freezers,fridge,etc water cylinder & washing machine we use overnight on the cheap tariff,no electric heating, this costs us 119euros a month,and i think it is set to go higher over the next few years.sabc15.

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